Krabi calls for more investment in water
text size

Krabi calls for more investment in water

Better technology and resource management planning needed as dry seasons get longer

A nearly dry reservoir is seen on Phi Phi Island in Krabi this month. (Photo: Khon Krabi Facebook Page)
A nearly dry reservoir is seen on Phi Phi Island in Krabi this month. (Photo: Khon Krabi Facebook Page)

Tourism operators in Krabi are requesting long-term water supply investment as the southern province lacks sufficient reservoirs and efficient management to deal with a future that could feature longer droughts.

“The government pledged to make Thailand a tourism hub, and Krabi generates significant tourism revenue. The government should urgently fix water supply shortages in the province,” said Sasithorn Kittidhrakul, acting president of the Krabi Tourism Association.

She said the province has more than 23,000 licensed hotel rooms, plus a number of hotels in the pipeline.

Climate change in recent years has resulted in a longer hot and dry season, resulting in water from underground sources evaporating faster, she said.

Krabi should adopt the water management and urban development plan of Singapore as both share similar geographical features, said Ms Sasithorn.

Learning from Singapore, the province should establish a desalination plant to produce tap water from seawater via reverse osmosis, as well as reuse treated waste water before releasing it, she said.

Ms Sasithorn said the Provincial Waterworks Authority (PWA) in Krabi should not obtain water supplies from only one source, but should use several sources. Many options exist, such as mountain runoff and canals, as ways to reduce risks in case the sole supplier runs short.

During the rainy season last year, she said, Krabi failed to efficiently manage water resources and did not have sufficient basins to collect rainwater for future use.

With only one water source for the PWA in Krabi, the drought has led to shortages for 28,000 households in Muang district in the past few weeks, she said.

Local residents and business operators on popular Phi Phi Island also have called for the development of a municipal water system for many years, which could be an underwater pipeline system from the mainland, or a desalination plant on the island.

Phi Phi islanders have been relying solely on groundwater or water from the mountain, she said.

It would be better if the authorities solved this problem to ease the expense people shoulder when buying water from private suppliers.

Along with a water management plan, the government should also consider other infrastructure development, such as electricity and public transport, to lift living quality and cater to growing tourism demand in Krabi, said Ms Sasithorn.

She said Krabi tourism was expected to see an improvement compared to the same period last year, with more flight capacity and tourists.

Do you like the content of this article?